Point of Order!
by Fernando Trevino on March 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM
What is going on in the Texas House? I find it strange that even after their electoral beating, the Democrats in Texas refuse to listen to the voters who clearly wanted more conservative governance and continue to obstruct House debate on conservative issues, such as the Sonogram Bill (HB15) and Voter ID (SB14). Thankfully, despite these efforts, Republicans were able to pass the Sonogram Bill out of the House, 107–42, and last night, after eleven hours of debate, the House approved the Voter ID Bill, 101–48. But it wasn’t pretty, and I think many of us have been left wondering why with 101 Republicans in the 150 member House, are these obstructionists being met with some minor successes?
I am glad that the Senate managed to pass both pieces of legislation without setbacks, but the House has continued to slip up, unfortunately. During the 81st session in 2009, Democrats occupied 74 of the 150 seats and were very successful in “chubbing.” (Read: Obstructing legislation advocated by conservatives.) Voter ID passed Wednesday night and the Sonogram Bill a few weeks ago, but both were sent back to committee on points of order relatively quickly after originally being brought to the House floor.
However, you would think things would be different now that Democrats aren’t even necessary for the House to take action. I think it is easy to place the blame on the obstructionists in the Texas House, but the sad fact of the matter is that Republicans need to be more careful. During this session, there were approximately 1,500 fewer bills filed than in 2009. I believe that this is because our new legislature is more about quality than quantity as there are some really good bills currently working their way through the Texas legislature.
With fewer bills, I had hoped Texas Republicans would be more careful and make sure that truly good legislation was coming out of Austin. I don’t want to see any part of the conservative agenda halted in Texas because anyone carelessly overlooked a mistake. Carelessness is what can kill conservative bills by Point of Order during the short 140 day Texas legislative session. With 101 Republicans in the House who overwhelmingly agree on major conservative issues such as the Sonogram Bill and Voter ID, it is my hope that every part of these bills are in order so that they may finally be enacted into law and improve the quality of government here in Texas.